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Worlds Classics
24 July 2014
Children's literature studies: general; Classic fiction (pre c 1945); Classic fiction (Children's&YA)
'this is all a fairy tale...and, therefore, you are not to believe a word of it, even if it is true'The Water-Babies (1863) is one of the strangest and most powerful children's stories ever written.

In describing the underwater adventures of Tom, a chimney-sweeper's boy who is transformed into a water-baby after he drowns, Charles Kingsley combined comic fantasy and moral fable to extraordinary effect. Tom's encounters with friendly fish, curious lobsters, and characters such as Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby are both an exciting fairy tale and a crash course in evolutionary theory. They also reflect the quirky imagination of one of the great Victorian eccentrics. Tom's adventures are constantly interrupted by Kingsley's sideswipes at contemporary issues such as child labour and the British education system, and they offer a rich satiric take on the great scientific debates of the day.

This edition reprints the original complete version of the story, and includes a lively introduction, detailed explanatory notes, and an appendix that reprints Kingsley's first attempt to describe the mysterious creatures that live under the sea.
By:   Charles Kingsley
Introduction by:   Robert Douglas-Fairhurst (Fellow and Tutor in English Fellow and Tutor in English Magdalen College Oxford)
Revised by:   Brian Alderson
Imprint:   Worlds Classics
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 196mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 14mm
Weight:   208g
ISBN:   9780199685455
ISBN 10:   0199685452
Series:   Oxford World's Classics
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   24 July 2014
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Charles Kingsley was a clergyman, professor, historian, and writer who lived during the 19th century, and was known most prominiently for writing children's literature. Brian Alderson has long been involved in the study of children's literature as editor, translator, lecturer, and exhibitions organizer. He takes a particular interest in bibliographic aspects, especially those related to the history of British and American publishing and illustration. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst is the author of Becoming Dickens (Harvard UP, 2011), winner of the 2011 Duff Cooper Prize, and he has edited editions of Dickens's Great Expectations, and A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Books and Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor for Oxford World's Classics. He writes regularly for publications including the Daily Telegraph, Guardian, TLS, and New Statesman.

Reviews for The Water -Babies

This new OUP edition has splendid notes, which should guide you through the abstruse references if you want them too. Theres also a learned introduction for those who like a bit of background information. * Harriet Devine, Shiny New Books *


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